Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monarch Butterflies in Michigan

I don't often see Monarch butterflies in my garden during the summer months. They spend their summer in the northern regions so it has been a real treat to watch these beauties during our visit to Michigan.



Milkweed grows in abundance here along the roadside and natural areas. It is wonderful to see such a plentiful food source for them.


The monarchs are the only butterflies known to make a two-way migration. When the days begin to shorten, the monarchs will begin their fall migration southward usually around mid-August to early September. 


They will be traveling through my garden starting late September. You can find the peak dates for your area by checking out Monarch Watch website here.


Researchers are still studying these butterflies and you can help by tagging monarchs you find in your garden.  Kits can be ordered from the Monarch Watch site. It is easy to do and all the instructions are available on-line.

21 comments:

  1. Very beautiful photos. The 2 first are so beautiful, they are breathtaking ! I LOVE your photography !

    ReplyDelete
  2. There was an interview on CBC radio this morning about monarchs and how they are like the "canary in the coalmine" regarding environmental changes. Gorgeous photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is fascinating! I would have liked to hear that interview. I wonder if they have it on-line.

      Delete
  3. The photos, as always, are SO stunning! I particularly like the second one. You're very lucky x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you PJ! I was in the garden at the right time to capture the monarch on the tiger lily. It was pretty exciting.

      Delete
  4. I have 4 monarch cats munching on the milkweed safely in my extra bedroom. I was hoping to raise more, but this is all I have found so far..it seems to be a very bad predator year for monarch eggs and cats this year according to the discussion on Monarch Watch..Michelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least you will have raised a few. They have so many obstacles to make the complete life cycle and the strange weather patterns this year certainly haven't helped.

      Delete
  5. Great captures, Karin! I haven't seen monarch butterflies but I know they also live in the Philippines. Maybe in the highlands.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you have a chance to see them one day. They are really beautiful butterflies!

      Delete
  6. I have loads of milkweed but still waiting for any eggs to mature...I think the heat has kept the majority away unfortunately this year...but maybe we will see more soon when we get some rain...hopefully. Fab pictures Karin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Donna! I hope your monarchs are successful! The dry weather has been really tough this summer. I think many plants and animals are just in survival mode.

      Delete
  7. Really lovely shots of the butterflies and your blooms look great.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I can't take credit for the blooms though; they are in my mother's garden in Michigan.

      Delete
  8. Love that photo of the butterfly set against the tiger lily. What is the plant in the middle photo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is the first time I have ever seen one on a tiger lily and I was so excited! Do you mean the one with the large seed pods? That is common milkweed (host plant for the monarch.

      Delete
  9. Beautiful photos of the monarch on the tiger lily. The thought of ordering a kit is tempting, but I'm not sure I would be fast enough to tag one. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is pretty easy to tag them. The easiest way to capture them is using a net. Then it is just a matter of putting the sticker on the wing and releasing them. When I first tried it I was concerned about damaging their wings but if you hold it between your pointer finger and index finger it goes quickly and the butterfly stays still. You should try it!

      Delete
  10. It is always a treat to see a Monarch butterfly. We have so many others in the garden, but when we see a Monarch it is an event!
    Beautiful photos of a beautiful butterfly!

    ReplyDelete
  11. That is tempting...I think I'd have to wait forever to catch one though. I'm not seeing as many monarchs as in years past but thankfully, there is one caterpillar on the milkweed right now. I hope it makes it. The last was destroyed by the tachnid fly. Gosh, I sound like doom and gloom! Anyway, praying this one makes it...it's fat and happy right now with a whole plant to itself!

    ReplyDelete

"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment...I love hearing from you!